At the beginning of the year, I decided to take on an Instagram challenge and do « A drawing a day » as part of my new year’s resolutions. Not an easy task and like most new year’s resolution I couldn’t manage to do it for the whole year. Yet, after 4 months, I had posted more than 100 drawings and doodles (you can watch them on my Instagram account). I am proud of this as I had never produced so much day after day, or maybe yes, when I was a child. There is nothing like daily training to improve your skills and even though I don’t post a daily drawing anymore, I do practice daily.
Among other subjects, I drew a couple of Alien characters which got some positive feedbacks from the IG community. Even though I am not a social media die hard fan/user I do like me some Instagram where I post drawings as well as some pics of my vinyl records. What I like most about this particular social media is that you can follow and be followed not only by friends but by people from all over the world who share the same interests (a bit like twitter but using pictures instead of short texts I cannot write as you can see judging by my blog entries:) And this is thanks to Instagram that I have been approached by a beatmaker called OlogistBBB, BBB standing for the Better Beat Bureau collective out of Norfolk, Virginia. He saw some of my drawings and liked them very much, especialy the alien characters such as the one below.
I had heard of Ologist and the Better Beat Bureau who are Virginia underground hip hop best kept secrets. He had released a tribute album to Gil-Scott Heron composed of samples of the late poet. Those not familiar with hip hop might think : « well, they do not come from the main rap cities like NYC, LA or Atlanta ». Think again, Virginia is a major state when it comes to hip hop and R&B. The State is home to R&B icons such as Pharell Williams, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, D’Angelo as well as hip hop producers like Nottz or Bink! who appeared on albums by Jay Z, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West or even the last and excellent Dr Dre album (Bink ! did the soulful « it’s all on me » beat). Ologist is actually close to Nottz and Bink! and has been active on the scene for years, releasing good old hip hop beats, reminiscent of the mid 90’s so called « golden age » without being pale imitations.
So, Ologist contacted me on Instagram and asked me if I could draw a new alien character for him, one which would be kind of his alter ego, a bit like Madlib did with the Quasimoto character drawn by Stones Throw Art Director Jeff Jank. So I drew an alien character dressed like a B-boy and a real hip hop producer digging for records and using a MPC, one of the cult sampler/sequencer used by the best producers.
Ologist found the name « Oh ! The beat nomad » and soon after released a first track using the character, a nice little remix of « Rememory » by Chance the rapper, Donnie Trumpet & the social experiment ft Erykah Badu you can listen here :
The track was mentioned on a couple of major music blogs like 2dopeboyz and it felt really good to see our little alien in there. Then, Oh! the beat nomad struck again with a remix of « ...gointohell » by R&B’s newest star Miguel, a couple of days after the release of his album. The remix was also posted in some high profile blogs, and Miguel himself retweeted the remix on his account to give it a good exposure (he has more than 800k followers).
And this is only the beginning of « Oh ! the beat nomad » adventures as Ologist is working on his new EP called « Numb3rs » and I have the pleasure of doing the cover artwork. More info about exciting future collaborations very soon... To be continued